Friday, October 29, 2010

New Hotel Be Images Now On Our Website

Since we under went some cosmetic renovation this past summer and have added some new decor items and spruced up all of the rooms in Hotel Be, we re-shot all of the images for our website. With all of our images we worked with John McDermott who is an amazing photographer and always captures our hotel at its best. All of the new images can be seen on our website under "The Buzz" section image gallery. But, just to give you some samples I will post a few here:




Saturday, August 21, 2010

Very Thoughtful Guests

Just more than a year ago The One Hotel had the pleasure of welcoming a very nice couple (recently engaged) from New York as our guests. They enjoyed their visit so much, including the service of one staff member in particular, that they wrote me last year and asked if they could sponsor his university tuition. The staff member is in a university class that costs $400 per year, so they guests paid half of his yearly tuition. What a kind and thoughtful gesture on their part, and naturally the staff member was thrilled. So, just a couple of weeks ago I received an email from the guest asking, since it had been a year, could they sponsor another year of his tuition? Wow, that really touched me that they still thought so much of their visit, and of him, to do this for another year. The guests also told me that for their wedding reception they decided to name each table, rather than give them a number. The most prominent, front and center table they wanted to call The One table, after their wonderful stay here, but thought guests might be confused. Instead they chose to call it the Siem Reap table. I have said it before and will say it again: we are always so very thankful for the lovely guests that have stayed with us and have a cherished memory of their visit.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Several months back we and our iPod for The One Hotel suite crash. It has taken this long to replace it (as we have upgraded the computer in the suite to a MacBook) but now I am delighted to report that we have a new iPod for the suite. And not just any iPod, but and 32gb iPod Touch.

Why am I so excited about this? Well, mainly because this iPod Touch is basically the same as an iPhone, without the phone function. You can use the iPod Touch to surf the web and there are countless applications that could possibly be installed. Today we installed an application that will allow a guest to use the iPod Touch as a remote control to play music wirelessly throughout the suite and roof terrace. I tested it today and it even worked from the jacuzzi area, though I do not think I will recommend any guest to do that. We also added applications for an alarm clock and a funny application that turns it into a flashlight (yes, Siem Reap does have blackouts so this could be handy). So, book the suite today and enjoy our iPod Touch when you arrive. No doubt it was worth the wait to have such a cool new feature for The One Hotel suite.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Disappointing Guests, Leave Us Disappointed

(Previous post deleted in error. This new post is a version with a bit more clarity.)

We recently had guests that made a booking at Hotel Be. In this low season we offer our two suites at a promotional offer of pay three nights at the regular rate, the fourth night is free. The guests had contacted my staff by phone and were quoted this offer, and followed it up with an email stating the same. Then I received an email from them asking about The One Hotel which I stated had the same promotion. In their email to me they reminded they were on their honeymoon (we had already offered free massages for them) and they want to know our best deal on The One Hotel because, quote, they were "young and brash." I really do not know the relevance of this comment as our rates are our rates, our promotions are our promotions and we do not have a "young and brash" special. As it turned out, they ended up calling my staff and asking to book our deluxe room in Hotel Be, our least expensive room and not part of the pay three nights get one night free promotion. It has never been and probably will never be part of that promotion. Why? At more than 50% less than a suite it is already a great value and since there is only one of these rooms available to book, we do not feel the need to discount it. In my staff's email reply to the guest he correct quoted the rate, with no mention of any free night since it was not part of the promotion.

When the guest arrived and were explained this, they blew up at my staff and for more than thirty minutes finally wore him down so he said he would give them the free night for the deluxe room. Since I was traveling, he wrote and told me about this and I thought, "Why?" We never told them they would get a free night (it is clear in black and white in our reply to them) so why do we need to be badgered by young and brash people to give them an non-existent discount, because they were unable to read a simple email? So, I told them that it was not possible and told them if they could not accept this they were welcome to stay at another hotel, which is what they chose to do. I took no pleasure in doing this, however, I felt that it would be wrong to let this guest get away with this non-existent discount when other guests could not get the same deal. Why, just because they argue incessantly until we agree? How would you feel if you booked a room with us only to learn that another guest belittled and harangued us into a cheaper deal? I don't think you would appreciate it, or feel like you were treated fairly. That is not what we will do.

I believe in fairness, and this was not fair to any of our previous guests or future guests. Why are we fair? We will always, and I mean always, quote you our very best existing deals when you make your reservation request. For instance, last minute bookings (within 10 days of arrival) are discounted when rooms are available. When I receive last minute bookings like this I was quote the discounted rate. Sure, I could quote the regular rate which is still a good value and maybe the guest accepts it and we make a little more revenue but I do not do that. I think it is only fair to be honest and open, offering the best deals that we have at the time and let the guest make their choice.

In the case of this guest, the best analogy I can give is if you have a store coupon for "Buy 3 large bottles of Coke and get the fourth free" and then the customer comes in with the coupon and says the want to buy three small bottles of Coke and get the fourth one free. Well, that is not the promotion, that is not the offer available so why exactly would you expect that? It is never easy to lose a customer, however, I will say that maybe we are just not the right place for everyone. And we are so grateful, and so blessed, that 99.5% of our guests are truly wonderful. That means so very, very much to us and for us to be belittled and pushed around by the rare difficult guest then we have to do what we have to do. Maybe they got up on the wrong side of the bed, but most likely they are the type of customer (since they felt the need to be described as young and brash) that feel like they can pushover any business because they are desperate for customers. Sorry, that is not us. We LOVE our customers, we RESPECT our customers and we appreciate the overwhelming support we receive from them.

PS - After the guest left our hotel they wrote to me to say that our staff stole their mosquito repellent and sunscreen. I know my staff. I know Cambodians. A Cambodian has as much need for sunscreen that a vegetarian has for a slice of prime rib. Of course the items had been left behind because they failed to pack them and the guests came and collected them. Honestly, these guests are the epitome of why we appreciate the 99.5% of our guests that are wonderful.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why not many recent blog entries? Facebook

Like many other savvy businesses we now have Facebook pages for The One Hotel Collection and for Linga Bar. I find that it is easier and faster to update smaller items on Facebook rather than doing a blog entry. In addition, these Facebook updates go immediately to our friends and fans so it seems more current. I will continue to use the blog for bigger stories, more depth, more insight into our business but encourage you to become a fan of us on Facebook. You can do this by going to our websites (,, and click the "Find Us On Facebook" button. See you there!

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Lobby Photo

This image courtesy of John McDermott, also known as the Ansel Adams of Angkor Wat. All of the images of the hotels, bar and spa come from John who is amazing to work with. We are so lucky to have his photos for our website, brochures etc. Visit John's website at Thank you John!

Friday, March 19, 2010


We recently sold our first major painting from the lobby gallery work of Christian Develter. "Defender of China" was sold to a very nice couple here on their honeymoon from Mexico. And today the painting accompanied a story in the Phnom Penh Post.